Scarce first edition of this decorative map of the World showing California as an Island, the Northwest Passage, a partial Australia with New Guinea attached to it, the eastern coast of New Zealand, an interesting misprojection of the Great Lakes, and the Mississippi far west of its correct location, amoung other things. The map is ringed by medallion portraits of famous explorers, including Dampier, Magellan, Drake, Columbus, Vespucci, Marco Polo, Schouten, La Salle and Tachard. A bit of light waterstaining in the lower right corner, but overall a striking impression of this fine world map.
Nicholas de Fer (1646-1720) was the son of a map seller, Antoine de Fer, and grew to be one of the most well-known mapmakers in France in the seventeenth century. He was apprenticed at twelve years old to Louis Spirinx, an engraver. When his father died in 1673, Nicholas helped his mother run the business until 1687, when he became the sole proprietor.
His earliest known work is a map of the Canal of Languedoc in 1669, while some of his earliest engravings are in the revised edition of Methode pour Apprendre Facilement la Geographie (1685). In 1697, he published his first world atlas. Perhaps his most famous map is his wall map of America, published in 1698, with its celebrated beaver scene (engraved by Hendrick van Loon, designed by Nicolas Guerard). After his death in 1720, the business passed to his sons-in-law, Guillaume Danet and Jacques-Francois Benard.